Spring is just around the corner, and the warmer months lead to more people setting out to enjoy the great outdoors. If you're making plans to go camping with your friends or family in the coming months, resolve to be a more eco-conscious camper on your next trip. You've undoubtedly seen the “Leave No Trace” signs at your favorite campgrounds, but sometimes we might not be aware of just how are actions can affect the environment. To be a little more eco-friendly, keep in mind these simple yet important tips:
1. Don't litter, even if something is biodegradable.
This rule is broken more often than you may think. Many people, even those who actively try to be environmentally friendly, are willing to leave food scraps behind at their campsite, because they're biodegradable. What they forget is that not all food scraps break down easily. Keep the “Leave No Trace” mantra in mind, and make sure you leave your campsite with everything you brought with you.
2. Follow safety precautions when it comes to campfires.
What's a camping trip without a campfire? Firewood is probably one of the first items on your packing list, but make sure you're being as cautious as you can when it comes to your campfire. First, make sure the campground even allows fires. Campfires left unattended are a major cause of wildfires in the United States, so exercise caution.
3. Be conscious of your noise levels.
It's easy to get a little rowdy during camping trips. You're with your friends, and you're just trying to have a good time. If you're being too noisy though or have loud music on, you can scare away animals from their habitat. It can also have a negative effect on nocturnal animals who rely on sounds to hunt.
4. Don't feed wildlife.
You'll likely come across wildlife during your camping trip, and you may feel the urge to share scraps of your food. In most cases, sharing is caring, but when it comes to wildlife, don't do it. You want to make sure these animals continue to be self-sufficient long after you've left.
5. Spread the word.
If you're making the effort to keep campsites safe and clean, inspire others to do the same. You can't force others to care, but you can make sure they're a little more informed.